First gulf oil plumes, now oil eating microbes: Conspiracy or Mother Nature?

This microscopic image shows how oil is degraded by microbes that break it up into even smaller globulets.

It’s either very interesting or very “convenient” timing this story just pops up soon after the story about NOAA covering up thinks like oil plumes and oil in the gulf food chain.

A newly discovered type of oil-eating microbe suddenly is flourishing in the Gulf of Mexico and  gobbling up the BP spill at a much faster rate than expected, scientists reported Tuesday.

Conspiracy theory would dictate that perhaps somebody is being paid-off on one way or another to suddenly find oil eating microbes, or perhaps it’s just proof that Mother Nature likes to maintain a balance and that she’s come up with her own solution to oil spills.

I’ll take Mother Nature for $1,000 Alex.  I would have my doubts that anyone at NOAA would come up with something this strange or convenient, this fast. Besides, the science behind it in the article pretty much goes along with the this is real theory.

Terry Hazen, a microbial ecologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California, reports the following….

“Our findings show that the influx of oil profoundly altered the microbial community by significantly stimulating deep-sea” cold temperature bacteria that are closely related to known petroleum-degrading microbes, Hazen reported.

Their findings are based on more than 200 samples collected from 17 deep-water sites between May 25 and June 2. They found that the dominant microbe in the oil plume is a new species, closely related to members of Oceanospirillales.

Sounds very good on the face of it doesn’t it.  However,  at the end of the article you get this little aside, which leads me back to the conspiracy theory.

The research was supported by an existing grant with the Energy Biosciences Institute, a partnership led by the U.C. Berkeley and the University of Illinois that is funded by a $500 million, 10-year grant from BP. Other support came from the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Oklahoma Research Foundation.

Makes one wonder if this was good old Mother Nature? Or, is this perhaps a case of BP or the DOE, or both dangling the carrot of hundreds of millions of dollars more research money in front of someone and having them bite?

You can read the whole article below at the “source” link and judge for yourself.  I can’t say one way or the other, but I sure can ask questions about it.

Please make your own judgement.

Source:  MSNBC

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1 Comment

Filed under Co2 Insanity, Government, Gulf Oil Spill

One response to “First gulf oil plumes, now oil eating microbes: Conspiracy or Mother Nature?

  1. Keapon Laffin

    Probably not as good as the spin-masters say, but who cares? Bacteria will eat oil. Having strains of such in the Gulf is to be expected. Oil bubbles up naturally there all the time. A newer better bacteria is also expected. It’s not like they take millions of years to adapt to new situations.

    I don’t understand why it would cost millions of dollars. A microscope, a bucket and small gene-sequencer(pretty cheap to do that now) should be all you need. Maybe a few petri dishes. It’s not like the plume was hard to find, so I doubt you’d need a robot.

    BP would have a stake in it sure, but DOE? I doubt it. It’s science that proves the environmental damage is less than expected and deep sea oil spills will tend to be naturally cleaned up. Doesn’t exactly help the DOE who’s job right now seems to be destroying the oil industry.